Your monthly update on programs, projects, events and more in the Western region
EOIs open for round 1 of the Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program
Landholders and community groups across the Western region could be eligible to receive funding under the Fencing Northern Riverbanks program, with the first round of expressions of interest currently open.
The program will see a range of important works carried out that aim to improve water quality, sustain native fish populations and keep livestock safe in the Northern Basin. Some of the activities available for funding are:
construction of 500 km of riparian riverbank fencing to control livestock access to environmentally sensitive waterways
exotic woody weed control
river re-snagging for fish habitat
erosion control works that protect native fish and contribute to a healthier river system.
LLS will deliver the program and will provide interested landholders with dedicated support officers to assist with the development of projects on their properties and to meet the program's guidelines.
The Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program is part of a $15 million investment the Australian Government has committed to NSW and Queensland, with LLS responsible for delivering $7.5 million.
Wild dog trapping schools and information sessions on the horizon
Landholders wanting to gain an understanding of wild dog management or learn about the fundamentals are encouraged to attend one of our upcoming capacity building opportunities.
Landholders familiar with wild dogs and wild dog control would be best suited to the trapping school events where they will be able to practice trapping techniques and take a deep dive into all things wild dogs and control.
The information sessions would be ideal for landholders looking to refresh their skills, new landholders in the region and those looking to gain knowledge and experience with wild dogs and control.
Stuart Boyd-Law from Pest Animal Control and Training, who is well known to landholders in the Western region, will be presenting at all of the events. Contact your local biosecurity officer for further information or Brooke Anderson, Senior Biosecurity Officer, on 0436 475 814 or email@example.com.
Have your say on the draft Western Local Strategic Plan 2021-26
We have just updated our Western Local Strategic Plan and we want to hear your feedback. This is an opportunity for you to help shape the way we operate locally and help us to ensure that our services will best meet your needs for the next five years.
Together with our staff and key stakeholders, we have drafted an easy-to-read plan on a page which you can view and download at the Have Your Say platform.
Our plan will be on public exhibition until Sunday 6 June. We look forward to hearing from you. For further information about the plan and opportunity for feedback, contact Silvana Keating, Senior Land Services Officer, on 0427 661 264 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time running out to apply for long-term access to a number of TSRs
Livestock producers and community groups have just over a week to apply for long-term access to a number of Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs) managed by Western LLS, with applications closing 23 May.
Having long-term access to a TSR through a Management Agreement Permit will play a key role in securing the future productivity of local TSRs. Applications will be considered against a comprehensive criteria including proposed grazing practices, experience, how pests and weeds will be managed, and so on.
Interested parties can view a map of the available TSRs and find out more information about the Management Agreement Permits by clicking here or contacting Kerryn Hart, Senior Land Services Officer, on 0437 034 935 or email@example.com.
Don't forget your best worker — be sure to worm your working dogs
Echinococcus granulosus is a tapeworm that infects dogs, foxes and dingoes and can cause hydatid disease in a range of other species such as sheep, cattle and even humans.
In dogs and other canids (the definite host) the tapeworms can live in the intestines causing little harm or ill effects while releasing segments or egg packets in the faeces. These eggs contaminate pastures and the environment and can be ingested by other species such as sheep, cattle and kangaroos when grazing and may lead to hydatid 'cysts' forming in the internal organs.
Economic losses in livestock may occur when portions of carcases are trimmed or downgraded due to presence of cysts. The life cycle is completed when dogs, dingoes or foxes consume these tissues infected with hydatid cysts which then can develop inside the intestines again.
Hydatid infection in humans can be life threatening and often requires surgical removal of the cysts if they form in critical organs such as the lungs, liver or brain. This can be a particular risk in children with close contact with pet or working dogs where there has been less attention to hygiene (hand washing) and where dogs have eaten raw offal infected with hydatid cysts.
Controlling hydatids can be achieved through:
worm your dogs (working dogs and pets) every 6-12 weeks with an intestinal all-wormer that contains praziquantel
avoid feeding raw offal (liver, lungs, hearts, kidneys) to dogs - freeze it for at least 14 days or cook it thoroughly
prevent dogs from being able to scavenge on carcases
dispose of the bodies of stock that have died in the paddock and put all offal in a dog-proof pit
engage in good personal hygiene washing hands regularly.
For more information contact one of our District Veterinarians or click here.
Last month 21 feral donkeys were controlled in the latest aerial control program carried out by Western LLS and local landholders in the Packsaddle and White Cliffs area.
The program is the third aerial shoot to happen within the last two years, with 50 feral donkeys controlled in December 2020 and 322 feral donkeys controlled in June/July 2019. The sustained decline in population numbers reflects the ground control efforts carried out by landholders in between aerial control programs.
The most recent program again utilised 'Judas donkeys' where feral donkeys that had been fitted with a GPS tracking collar led Western LLS to larger populations to be controlled through aerial shoots.
Aerial control programs are a vital tool in the control of this priority pest species, carried out on largely inaccessible country that landholders can't undertake ground control on. Local landholders involved in the program will continue ground control while Western LLS will monitor populations and provide strategic advice.
Click here for further information about this program and to receive assistance to control pest animals in your local area contact Western LLS on 1300 795 299 or visit the LLS website.
You can't manage what you can't measure — a predictive tool for kangaroos
Work has commenced on a new kangaroo management project that aims to provide landholders with a better understanding of the numbers and locations of kangaroos at a property scale. This should be of great interest to landholders in the Western region who are looking to gain better control of their grazing pressure to improve long-term landscape and drought resilience.
Western LLS is working with researchers from NSW Department of Primary Industries to deliver the project which will involve:
developing a model for predicting kangaroo density at a property or paddock scale
testing the predictions of the models on a minimum of five properties in the Western region
implementing an innovative extension and adoption plan exploring the issues and documenting the progress of the tool development.
The tool prototype should be completed by June 2022, and after that, Western LLS is hoping it can be further developed into a user-friendly app for primary producers to predict the movement and local density of kangaroos.
This project is funded by the Future Drought Program: Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program - Landscapes.
Work at the new Broken Hill office progressing well
Landholders, community members and Western LLS staff will soon enjoy a state-of-the-art office and biosecurity facilities with the new operations base in Broken Hill expected to open in August.
The new office, which will be located in the same location as the previous office 7 km out of Broken Hill on the Adelaide Rd, will feature sit to stand desks, wireless mouse, keyboard and headsets, while the site will include a fully compliant veterinary laboratory and be the base for biosecurity operations with infrastructure including baiting drying racks, cool room storage and the Broken Hill stock yards.
The $1.55 million investment was recently toured by the Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Adam Marshall. The investment is part of a $2.37 million upgrade to offices in the Western LLS region.
Landholders and stakeholders will be kept informed of how work is progressing and when the new office will be open for business. For further information contact Western LLS on 1300 795 299 or by clicking here. Grant Davis, Zi Yi Lim, Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Adam Marshall and Nick Darling at the site of the new office in Broken Hill. Grant and Zi are local staff members and Nick is project manager.
Local landholders donate more than $6,000 to RFDS
Thanks to the 317 landholders that participated in our Regional Landholder survey, the NSW Government was able to donate $6,340 to the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) in Broken Hill.
Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW, Adam Marshall was in Broken Hill to present the donation cheque on behalf of the landholders, and he was joined by local Western LLS staff and local landholder/Western LLS board member, Garry Hannigan.
Reports of the Regional Landholder survey and Aboriginal Community survey are available on the LLS website:
For further information on either of the two surveys or the reports contact Silvana Keating, Senior Land Services Officer, on 0427 661 264 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Warren Kelly, Garry Hannigan (landholder), Minister for Agriculture and Minister for Western NSW Adam Marshall, Peter Miranda (RFDS), Grant Davis and Claudia Bryant at the RFDS museum in Broken Hill.
Aerial baiting for wild dogs complete, ground baiting set to commence
At the start of the month our aerial baiting program for the control of wild dogs got underway with 155 properties participating. Since then, just over 63,000 baits have been dropped along the 6,300 km of pre-determined bait lines over largely inaccessible country.
Despite a minor delay due to rain early in the piece, the aerial baiting program concluded within the planned timeframe. Landholders throughout the region will shortly be taking part in ground baiting for wild dogs, with local pest management groups to collect their baits from their local biosecurity officer in the coming weeks.
Our Western Regional Weeds Coordinator, Andy McKinnon and a number of our local biosecurity officers have received reports of cactus overtaking country in Western NSW with animals, vehicles and people believed to be behind the spread.
The good news for landholders that may be experiencing a cactus issue is that Western LLS have biological control insects that are suitable for most of the problem cactus in the region. If you want to find out more, or suspect you have cactus on your property, you can:
Contact us — early intervention may save you years of pain and chemical applications.
Be vigilant for Hudson Pear, Boxing Glove Cactus (pictured), Rope Pear (Devils Rope), Jumping Cholla, Prickly Pear and Wheel Cactus. If you see these cacti or suspect you have them please contact us and we can offer support and advice — 1300 795 299 or LLS website.
If you have the biological control insects on one variety of cactus please don't move them to a different variety of cactus. The insects don't like changing the variety of cactus and while they'll survive they won't kill the cactus and you will likely still need to apply chemical.
Time running out to register for our pasture walks and plant ID events
Great opportunity for landholders to increase their understanding of native pastures, how to identify native plants and the benefits of retaining native plants on your property. Workshops will start at 9 am and finish around 2 pm.
Saturday 22 May at "Coogee Lake", near Topar
Monday 24 May at "Wyndham Station" near Wentworth
Tuesday 25 May at "Bellevue" near Ivanhoe.
RSVP to Max Brownlow, Senior Field Officer, on 0408 241 200 or email@example.com for catering purposes. Please bring a hat, sunscreen, drinking water and field wear/shoes. This project is supported by Western LLS through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
Wild dogs collared, monitoring continuing
The 'Western Tracks' project team and local landholders are continuing to monitor traps and look for wild dog sign as they work to add to the four wild dogs currently collared in the project area. The collared wild dogs are providing the project team with valuable data on their movements around the landscape. This information will, in time, be collated and made available to local landholders and stakeholders. With the collaring continuing, it is important landholders report any pest animal activity so the project team have the best knowledge of where the current wild dog activity is for the duration of the collaring. Click here for more information on the project, or contact Tim Wall, Biosecurity Team Leader on 0428 915 070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project update
The project team are continuing to progress through the assessments for biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage while working toward the next phase of construction commencing.
Aboriginal cultural heritage — Along the NSW and South Australian alignment, Lantern Heritage (consultant) and Registered Aboriginal Parties, are undertaking archaeological test pitting at potentially significant locations this month. Meanwhile, Extent Heritage (consultant) has completed field assessments along part of the NSW and Queensland alignment and plan to complete the remaining field assessments by the end of June, pending weather and ground conditions.
Biodiversity — Niche Environment and Heritage (consultants) have completed field assessments for the South Australian alignment and will be analysing the results and undertaking further research on impacts of fences on biodiversity to inform the project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Niche plan to undertake the field assessments along the Queensland alignment later this month.
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